Hudson -- Success in business is often measured by dollars, but entrepreneurs just starting out bank more on advice and support.
This year Council members reduced the city's financial support of the Technology Entrepreneurial Center of Hudson, a nonprofit business incubator in Hudson, and will review funding during budget talks.
Council voted to provide $174,000 in 2011, $200,000 in 2012 but then reduced funding to $50,000 with $25,000 in a matching grant in 2013. The city budgeted $25,000 for 2014.
"I understand their reasoning for lowering the funding, but $25,000 is not going to be sufficient," said George Buzzy, TECHudson entrepreneur in residence.
TECHudson needs $150,000 a year to cover minimal support and provide modest services to new business entrepreneurs, Buzzy told Council in August.
He also told Council members then he would like to form a partnership with an academic institution, but with the change in presidents at both Kent State University and The University of Akron, he has not been able to discuss the possibilities.
"Funding is always an issue," Buzzy said. "The discussions haven't born any fruit, yet."
Buzzy said he would like funding to be in place by January 2014.
"We need to continue the next generation of entrepreneurs and any programs we can do," Buzzy said.
Two programs will be offered at Hudson library -- one Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m. on law and finance for small businesses, which is part of the Fall 2013 Entrepreneurship Series and will be conducted by Buzzy.
The other is Pitch Night on Oct. 28 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. when selected entrepreneurs will pitch their business ideas to a panel of experts behind closed doors. The Burton D. Morgan Foundation is providing prize money of $3,000 for first place, $1,500 for second place and $500 for third place.
More information is available for Hudson library events at www.hudsonlibrary.org.
TECHudson has been a positive influence on SGM Games, one of its longest running clients with a year and a half at the incubator.
SGM Games is run by Gary Nunley Jr., a Hudson resident, who has a master's degree in emergency management and his brother, David Nunley, who is attending Kent State University.
"The incubator has been extremely helpful giving us a place to call home," said Gary Nunley. "In the past year we've released two games, Checkpoint Madness Lite and Checkpoint Madness HD. Both have been downloaded worldwide and have seen exceptional success in Asia."
SGM Games develops applications for others now with College Connection KSU, a resource application for college students on the Kent Campus. The app provides information on businesses, sports, locating a car, and emergency notifications. The company also finished an app for another university and a human resource app.
"So it's been a busy year for us," Nunley said. "I know the folks in Hudson have been skeptical perhaps of the benefits of the incubator, but its been a tremendous asset to us."
Nunley said he and his brother had a lot of ideas for their business but did not have the structure a new company needs to be successful.
"We were shooting from the hip," Nunley said. "George's guidance and mentorship has been extremely valuable."
Having a physical building to meet with clients has been important to SGM Games.
"An office provides a place to meet with clients and gives you legitimacy," Nunley said. "Instead of being a coffeeshop CEO."
Nunley said he and his brother can bounce ideas off of Buzzy. If they have an issue or need direction, they go to him.
He also agrees with Buzzy that a partnership with an academic institution provides inexpensive services by using students, something he has done for his business.
Students from the school of law can help solve legal problems while students in the school of business can help with a marketing strategy, he said. Many of the students have business experience and are furthering their education, he added.
"They are working with entrepreneurship programs and enjoy working with a company with new ideas," Nunley added.
In addition, TECHudson provides experts and resources to help its members.
Although Nunley said SGM Games isn't ready to graduate yet, he would like to make enough in profits to be self-sustaining in six to eight months.
"We've come a very long way," Nunley said. "So far in fact, we could be self-sustaining as a company soon."
Facebook: Laura Freeman, Record Publishing